The SA police shot a protestor at a very close range directly with what appears to be a rubber bullet (see second 16 and 17 of the clip) and then set upon him. The man called Andries Tatane died at the scene in the Free State town of Ficksburg yesterday. Here is a report from The Times.
In the mean time violence flared again today in the town.
Business Day has a very good opinion piece on the incident:
In a country in which nearly 50% of the people live in poverty and where nearly 50% of black people are unemployed — most of them without the prospect of ever finding a job — he died because he wanted a better deal for his community.
In a country in which miscellaneous items worth hundreds of millions of rand are consumed each year by politicians, where people become instant multimillionaires supposedly providing public goods, goods that rarely materialise, this man died because he wanted his government to do its job.
And I would like to highlight the following:
This is not simply about police brutality. This is about national brutality. The police are simply a reflection of the society we are. It begins with the acceptance of the brutality of poverty and economic injustice.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new in South Africa.
The Mail and Guardian reports on the excessive figures of people dying in police custody.
The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), according to its 2010 annual report, investigated 1 769 cases of people dying in police custody or as a result of police action.
That is considerably higher than the UK’s total homicide rate per year.